This I Believe

aurora - el paso, Texas
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

This past weekend the Playstation 3 and the Wii were released to eager gamers all over the country. Both consoles offer better graphics than before to where the game play seems almost real. No doubt many games will come out in the year to come, that will fully take advantage of what these new consoles can do. Along with these games will come protests due to the graphic nature of said games. For a while there has been a debate whether violent video games should be banned, and I honestly think games should not be banned.

Videogames create an outlet for frustrations or any other “negative” emotions we are taught to repress. Melanie Moore, a psychologist, says “Children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they’ve been taught to deny, and to reintegrate those feelings into a more whole, more complex, more resilient selfhood.” Overall, videogames can be beneficial to kids trying to vent but aren’t allowed to.

Some will argue still: Is it not true that violent videogames increase aggressive behavior? I will say yes to that. Some studies have shown that they do increase aggression, but then again, so does television. A study was done a couple of years ago when parents were preoccupied that maybe there was too much violence on television. The study results showed that kids who cut back on watching television showed a significant reduction in violence. The study showed that the amount of kids who watched shows with violence and the kids who did not, had just about the same results. If we think about it, maybe it is not the violence itself presented in the media that affects children to act out in violent displays. Maybe it is because they are not out engaging in a constructive activity. Either way, there has been no evidence, that videogame violence encourages violence in kids or young adults.

An argument like this always brings up the tragedy of Littleton, Colorado. Parents say, “Look at the kids from Columbine, they played games like Doom and Quake and listened to goth rock music, that had to do something with what they did.” You cannot go and blame something like games and music for something as tragic as that and say it is a valid explanation. What many people overlook is the fact that these guys were social misfits who had been picked on since they were kids. Their parents just did not pay attention to them. “They drew attention to themselves with gothic makeup and costumes, made offensively violent movies for class, posted to hate mongering websites under their own names… when their parents and authorities did not respond as strongly as they had wanted, their frustrations increased, finally the boys created a horrific scenario that would leave the world no choice but to notice them.”

If parents are so preoccupied with the disturbing images that videogames show, why, then, are there not more parents protesting? Parents have become very negligent in their care for their own children, often times leaving them to watch television or play videogames without worrying about the content. Kids might not act out violently because of the games or movies they have been watching, but merely because they crave attention from their parents

Like I stated earlier, videogames create an outlet for emotions and they allow kids rehearse what they will be later in life but also what they will not be. It allows them to explore what is impossible or too dangerous in a safe and controlled environment.